Talk:cock-and-bull story

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Etymology[edit]

Pub signs of The Cock and The Bull
  1. The term is believed to have originated from stage coach travellers' gossip and rumour exchanged between two coaching inns, The Cock and The Bull in Stony Stratford, England. These inns were a main stopping point on the turnpike road from London to Birmingham , Chester and North Wales (for Ireland). Further discussion below.
  2. Other commentators suggest that its origin is in mythical or fictional conversations among animals (such as in the first story of Arabian Nights). However, this derivation seems to be based on the supposition that the French expression "coq-a-l'ane" ("cock to donkey") has been imported into English. This is not an unreasonable supposition, since the Lallans (Scots) word "cockalayne" appears to be a direct phonetic transfer from the French. —This comment was unsigned.

"Épîtres+du+coq+a+l'âne"&dq="Épîtres+du+coq+a+l'âne"&lr=lang_fr&as_brr=0&ei=Cy32SJz_AYyuyATusPDUCA&pgis=1 This book is a French collection of several "letters of a cock to a bull" dating from the 16th century. DCDuring TALK 17:54, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Additional remarks on 'two inns' derivation[edit]

The Cock Hotel is documented to have existed [in one form or another - 'great fires' were common!] on the current site since at least 1470; the provenance of The Bull is less well documented but is certainly older than 1600.

Microsoft (R)[tm](c) Encarta [tm] is unimpressed by this evidence, calling it "folk etymology". —This comment was unsigned.

First recorded use[edit]

The first recorded use of the phrase was in John Day's 1608 play Law-trickes or Who Would Have Thought It: "What a tale of a cock and a bull he told my father."